"No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling." Psalm 91:10
Text: Exodus 9 : 6-7
A DEVASTATING PESTILENCE
Just as it happened on earlier occasions, so the plague on the livestock of the Egyptians hit hard, just as the Lord had warned. There is no need to raise the question of cruelty to the animals, as if God was at fault! No animal would have died if only Pharaoh had humbled himself before the Lord and released the children of Israel!
“So the LORD did this thing on the next day,
and all the livestock of Egypt died;
but of the livestock of the children of Israel, not one died.”
Everything had happened just as the Lord had forewarned Pharaoh! What would it take to bring this arrogant and obstinate man to his senses?
A HEART OF UNBELIEF AS WELL
Pharaoh did not just have a hardened heart. He also had a problem of unbelief. He could not believe that when pestilence strikes, it could discriminate between Egyptian and Hebrew livestock! That surely was impossible, wasn’t it? He sent his men out to check out the validity of the claim of Moses that none of the livestock belonging to the children of Israel had died.
“Then Pharaoh sent, and indeed,
not even one of the livestock of the Israelites was dead.”
The hard facts were presented to Pharaoh by his own officers! They had traversed the land of Egypt and noted that the pestilence took a heavy toll on the livestock of Egypt. They also went to the land of Goshen and discovered that their livestock was healthy! None had suffered from the pestilence that ravaged Egypt! Everything that Moses had proclaimed was fulfilled! How was Pharaoh going to process this information?
ANOTHER WRONG DECISION
If Pharaoh had lived in another time and another place, he would have been replaced as head of state a long time ago. He had already made four bad decisions, and the fifth one devastated the economy of the nation dramatically. But he was Pharaoh! He was the living embodiment of the gods of Egypt. He answered to nobody, even if he were to make one fatal mistake after another! As he viewed the facts before him, he made yet another horrendous blunder.
“But the heart of Pharaoh became hard,
and he did not let the people go.”
Hardness of heart, unbelief and arrogance combined together to make Pharaoh take the hard stand he did. He could not admit defeat. He could not and would not yield to the demand of the God of the Hebrews!